Facts About Foster Care Adoptions in the U.S.

defares" As of March 1999, there were 547,000 children in foster care in the United States.

Of those children:

43% were African American
36% were white
15% were Hispanic
1% were American Indian/Alaskan Native
1% Asian/Pacific Islander
4% were of unknown or other racial/ethnic background

The average (mean) age of children in foster care as of March 1999 was 9 years.

The length of time they had been in foster care was 33 months. The United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates at that time as many as 117,000 children in foster care needed adoptive families.

The average mean age of children waiting to be adopted is 8 years. More than a quarter of the children are over the age of 10.The mean length of time that these children have been in foster care is 46 months.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported to the North American Council on Adoptable Children in February 2000 that an estimated 39,156 children were adopted in fiscal year 1999.

The age at which these children were adopted was as follows:

2% under 1 year
46% from 1 to 5 years
37% from 6 to 10 years
14% from 11 to 15 years
2% from 16 to 18 years

The children who were adopted in 1999 were adopted by:

Nonrelatives 21%
Foster parents 64%
Other relatives 15%

The family structure of the families adopting children in 1999 were:

66% married couples
30% single females
2% unmarried couples
2% single males

Source: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse

Support for Foster Care adoptions

Foster Care Checklist
Foster Care message boards

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